Georgia Track & Field Gears Up For Home Opener Starting Thursday
April 9, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. --- Traveling across the country for meets since the indoor season cranked up in mid-January, Georgia's track and field teams finally get the opportunity to compete at their home facility starting on Thursday.
UGA hosts the Bulldog Decathlon (Thursday-Friday), Spec Towns National Team Invitational (Friday-Saturday) and the Bulldog Heptathlon (Friday-Saturday) at the Spec Towns Track in Athens.
Georgia is welcoming Connecticut (men), Georgia Southern (women), Minnesota, Ohio State (men), Rutgers, Troy and Western Michigan (women) to its first home meet of the season. Individuals from Wisconsin, Georgia Tech and UAB are also slated to compete.
There is no admission to the three-day event and fans are encouraged to enter through the Lumpkin Street entrance. The East Rutherford entrance nearest to the Rankin Smith Center will also be open on Friday and Saturday.
Bulldog Decathlon, Heptathlon Arrive First: Featuring a pair of UGA First Team All-Americans, the Bulldog Decathlon starts with the 100-meter dash at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday. The first five events of the decathlon are scheduled for Thursday and the final five are on the schedule to begin at 11 a.m. on Friday with the 110 hurdles.
Sophomore Maicel Uibo is a three-time First Team All-American in the multis, including his runner-up finish in the heptathlon at this year's NCAA Indoor Championships. He will be joined by junior Garrett Scantling, who redshirted the indoor season after finishing in the top 10 in both the decathlon and the heptathlon at last year's national meets.
Uibo shattered the school record by winning the 2013 Bulldog Decathlon with 8,223 points.
In addition, Wisconsin's Zack Ziemek is arriving to Georgia's facility after placing in the top five in the heptathlon at the last two NCAA Indoor Championships.
The women get rolling in the Bulldog Heptathlon at 10 a.m. with the 100 hurdles on Friday. The field will complete their first four events before starting their last three with the long jump on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Freshman Kendell Williams will be making her home debut after a sensational and record-breaking indoor season. The Marietta, Ga., native set World Junior and collegiate records by winning the NCAA pentathlon title with 4,635 points in March.
Williams will be joined by junior Quintunya Chapman, who also advanced to the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships and finished with the fifth-best score in school history (4,107) for Second Team All-America honors.
A mentor for Williams and Chapman, who is in her first season competing in the multis, has been senior Lucie Ondraschkova. Despite her eligibility being exhausted following the indoor campaign, Ondraschkova will also be in the heptathlon's field as a competitor.
Ondraschkova was the victor last year after winning the Bulldog Heptathlon by nearly 600 points with a final tally of 5,701.
Historic Spec Towns Invitational: The Spec Towns Invitational begins with three field events (women's/men's triple jump, women's shot put) starting on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. The women's javelin starts the day on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. while the first event on the track is the women's 5000 at 1:10 p.m.
There were a series of Bulldog winners at last year's Spec Towns meet who are returning in 2014. Caleb Whitener won the men's shot put last year with a third throw that traveled 62 feet, 7 ¾ inches. A personal-best time of 50.60 came from Drew Branch in 2013 as he edged former Bulldog Phillip Adams in the 400 hurdles. Charlie Sparks also won the steeplechase last year.
Primarily a 1500 runner, junior Carly Hamilton finished first in the 800 after completing her laps in 2:08.44 to give the Georgia women another winner.
Five competitors reached 6 feet in the women's high jump last year as former Lady Bulldog Levern Spencer grabbed top honors at 6-3.50. Leontia Kallenou tied for third after reaching 6 feet while South Carolina's Jeannelle Scheper earned runner-up honors at 6-2. However, Kallenou bested Scheper this year for both the SEC and NCAA indoor titles.
Next Time In Athens: This will be the last meet in Athens before the Georgia Invitational arrives on Saturday, May 10. The Bulldogs' second home meet is the weekend before the SEC Outdoor Championships in Lexington, Ky.
Results and recaps from the Bulldog Decathlon and Heptathlon and Spec Towns Invitational will be located at georgiadogs.com. Updates about all Bulldog track and field news can be found on Twitter at @UGA_XCTF.
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